One of my friends recently blew through town on her way to SXSW and has shared her recent obsession with co-working with me. After reading her blog and catching up on her adventures, I've taken to reading more about co-working and how it is thriving in many communities, especially during the recession with many individuals sharing overhead and putting their heads together in large, loose, and largely fluid working environments nation-wide. Essentially, co-working is exactly what it sounds like: a working community of individuals or small business working in the same space and sharing overhead through contracts that range from daily to monthly. Most of the time it's a hot desk situation where at the end of the day you pick your stuff up and go but some co-working centers have cold as well as hot desk situations.
On her road trip down she has checked out a number of different co-working sites along the way and was stopping at Launch Pad in NOLA.
Here's a great article about the New Orleans and a number of other co-working sites there: http://www.cooltownstudios.com/2009/08/11/creative-economy-trends-summer-2009
Some amazing snippets on why NOLA's co-working scene is poppin':
- New Orleans' metro area gained 100,000 nonfarm, post-Katrina jobs from October 2005 to June 2009, and by 2016 is expected to grow 24% from 2006 levels to 98.8% of pre-Katrina levels.
- At least four entrepreneurial hubs now exist: a coworking space for nine companies called Entrepreneur's Row; the Icehouse 'coworking warehouse'; a cluster of technology and start-ups known as the I.P., ('intellectual property'), and the Entergy Innovation Center, offering a group of companies affordable office, retail and community meeting spaces sponsored by Idea Village, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs.
Not bad for a city that many said shouldn't have a future.
Why New Orleans? Three major reasons:
1. "There's a sense of opportunity and possibility, combined with people who have the horsepower to actualize those possibilities," Michael Hecht, 38, president of Greater New Orleans Inc., a nonprofit economic development agency. What excites a creative more than an opportunity to actually create something? That's definitely post-Katrina New Orleans.
2. Low rents. That, along with business tax incentives and...
3. New Orleans legendary music and culture... and voila!
Another article via @RosieHoyem: An Entrepreneur's View On The Benefits of Coworking: http://www.readwriteweb.com/start/2010/03/entrepreneurs-view-on-benefits-of-coworking.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+readwriteweb+%28ReadWriteWeb%29